Feature Story from 2008
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A dangerous kind of criminal is taking advantage of people's money and good names without those people even knowing they are victims.
The Federal Trade Commission online says identity theft occurs “when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With identity thieves lurking for treasure among household trash, Mississippians are being urged to turn to the shredder rather than the garbage when throwing away junk mail and personal documents.
Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said each person should protect all personal information to prevent identity theft.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some housing prices are sagging, but Mississippi landowners may need to look no further than their backyards to find hidden property value, according to a recent Mississippi State University study.
The study found that properties throughout the state with outdoor recreational opportunities increased in value, particularly in the Mississippi Delta. The results indicated that recreational uses increased land prices by an average of $333 per acre or 36 percent of the property value.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Buyers set two records Thursday as they purchased at auction the 37 sale animals raised last year by 4-H and FFA youth in Mississippi.
The Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions raised $242,234 for the youth. Buyers broke the previous price per pound records by a dollar each for hogs and lambs, and matched the record for steers.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When there is a sick plant in the state, Mississippi State University's state-of-the-art Plant Pathology and Nematology Lab can determine the problem and its solution.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Chocolates and roses are good gifts for Valentine's Day, and as long as the chocolate is not eaten all at once, it can be good for the heart, too.
Brent Fountain, human nutrition specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said chocolate contains compounds known as flavenoids that are basically phytonutrients, or nutrients produced by plants.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Who does not want “quick cash?”
The offers sound enticing, but financial counselors encourage people to do their research before taking out a payday loan, also known as a cash advance.
Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said finance charges for these short-term cash loans may result in interest rates from 390 percent to 780 percent.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For two Mississippi women, 140 years of combined service to the state 4-H program is not enough.
Lucille Williams, 89, of Canton and Thelma Wood Harris, 90, of Natchez, are among the 7,500 adult volunteer leaders serving 101,000 youth enrolled in Mississippi 4-H. Even at their age, these women have no intention of slowing down.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University’s Extension Service has named Trey Koger as the state specialist to assist Mississippi’s soybean growers.
Koger most recently served at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, where he operated cotton research program focusing on weed control, herbicide resistance, agronomic systems, and growth regulator and defoliation practices for Mississippi cotton production systems. His new job responsibilities will include coordinating educational programs for soybeans and other oilseed crops.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Senior citizens are more likely than people in other age groups to report fraud, but they remain attractive targets because of life situations that scam artists can exploit.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A donation of old-but-functional computers from the Mississippi State University Extension Service will soon give local law enforcement, intelligence and public safety agencies connectivity for sharing information.
MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Vice President Vance Watson said many emergency management agencies in small towns lack adequate computers. Extension’s donation will give these agencies additional communication tools to respond to criminal activities, natural disasters and emergencies.
By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center
STONEVILLE -- With soybean seed in short supply in 2008, Mississippi soybean growers are facing increased production risks including unproven varieties and poor-quality seed.
Mississippi State University Extension Service specialists recommend producers research available varieties to minimize these risks.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Lionel “Bo” Beaulieu, director of the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University, is the first recipient of a special award presented at an annual conference hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For more than two decades, Mississippi State University’s veterinary college has welcomed thousands of school children to its annual open house, and people of all ages will enjoy the 2008 event.
MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will open its doors from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on April 4 and 5 for the 24th annual open house at the Wise Center, located on the south side of campus off Spring Street.
VERONA -- On Feb. 20, the nation’s oldest group of its type met for the 55th time at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.
The North Mississippi Producer Advisory Committee has met every year since 1953 and its purpose has remained the same -- to tell Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station personnel the research and education needs of agricultural producers in 27 north Mississippi counties.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Few events focus the need for saving money like a sudden job loss or a personal catastrophe. Unfortunately, by then it is too late.
“Most people know they need to save money for retirement or for their child's college education, but any number of crises that require emergency funds can occur before those anticipated needs arrive,” said Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Bats in the backyard are a good way to keep mosquito numbers down, but bats in the attic are a problem.
Ben West, wildlife specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Mississippi is home to eight of the 40 kinds of bats native to the United States.
“Bats are great mammals to have around your property because they really help control mosquitoes,” West said. “Bats are so effective at mosquito control that many people place bat houses on their property to encourage bats to live nearby.”
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched a one-stop information shop on the MSUcares.com Web site focusing on imported fire ants.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An upcoming workshop will offer hope and guidance to entrepreneurs with a variety of business interests that they want to base in their homes.
The home-based business workshop will be linked with video conferencing technology and will take place April 16 in Biloxi, Cleveland, Raymond, Verona and on the Mississippi State University campus. The registration deadline is April 7. The fee is $20 per person.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fee fishing, fee hunting, agritourism, trail riding and wildlife watching are examples of outdoor recreational businesses based on natural resources commonly found on Mississippi private lands.
A one-day workshop for farmers, landowners and resource managers will provide attendees with the resources to start and manage a natural resource enterprise. This April 24 event will be held in Benndale in George County. Benndale is located at the intersection of Highway 26 and Highway 57, just west of Lucedale.